The Backpacker Intern

In January of 2014 our very own Mark Bragen was surfing the web doing some research for web design when he happened to stumble upon a link to a video of a Creative Copy Writer who wanted to work for free. Yes. Free. Meet the Backpacker Intern.

Check out the Backpacker Intern’s Video on Vimeo

You can follow Mark at his Backpacker Intern Website.

The LV Photo Experience

This mysterious copywriter was the now world-renowned Mark van der Heijden.

We immediately emailed the Backpacker Intern and invited him to come experience Las Vegas, and help us with the ever-frustrating task of web development in exchange for a place to sleep and some food to eat. “Hell, do you want to live with us?” we thought.

Prior to the Mark arriving in April of 2014 I believe he had been staying in a hostile somewhere stateside for a couple nights before making it to Las Vegas. But, we sure as heck weren’t going to put him on the pull out sofa in our office- so we surprised him with a suite at the Rio.

So much happened in a short period of time. None of us slept very much during Mark’s time here. We managed to get him to jump off the Stratosphere, Attend Rose. Rabbit. Lie.

He worked on a couple events with us, visit the grand canyon, design a social media marketing strategy, ride the High Roller, go over the Copywriting for our website, take a photo in front of the Las Vegas sign, and get him to the bus depot just in time to make it to his next obligation in San Francisco.

Backpacker Intern LV Photo Blog 

We had a blast, learned a ton, and most importantly gained one of the most unique perspectives on life that we have ever seen.

You can go on Instagram any day of the week and see incredible photos of stranger’s trips to exotic parts of the world and tell yourself, “Someday”. However, the Backpacker intern instilled in all of us that if you’re willing to make some sacrifices, and have an open mind you too can live out your dreams just as he has.

Worldly & Adventuresome

The last time we checked Mark has been to 7 continents, in 27 countries and worked at 32 companies. (Probably even more as you are reading this) From Ted Talks, Antarctica, The White House, and much more, the only way to grasps his journey is to check it out for yourself.

As I write this blog, (February 19, 2016) it is Mark’s birthday, and he just released some major news for the world of adventurous people such as him. His new project Wanderbrief is finally up and running.


Mark’s incredible idea has inspired enough people around the world to want to do as he did back in 2014 that there is now a project that will allow anyone to apply for similar journeys to his!

“Exchange your creativity for experience abroad.” Can be found on the website along with, “Ever dreamt of working abroad for a few weeks? Discover the Wanderbrief Destinations. In exchange for creative superpowers at a company abroad you get a free flight, room & board and some pocket money to explore the city.”

So? What are you doing still reading this? Go! The first destination is Amsterdam among many on the horizon. Maybe we will even make LV Photo a destination on Wanderbrief?

Photos of Mark Experiencing Vegas with LV Photo